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Us 18, America 13, Texas 8, Boston 7, Virginia 7, Schumer 7, Mr. Blumenthal 6, Leahy 6, Afghanistan 5, United States Senate 5, Feinstein 4, United States 4, Connecticut 4, Tucson 4, Washington 4, Durbin 3, Mrs. Smith 3, Alabama 3, Naacp 3, Mexico City 3,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    April 18, 2013
    9:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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>> senator, when someone raise the subject your first and was to talk about children being used as props which is currently sort of a red herring because that's really not what the issue is. do you think there's a problem that needs to be dealt with? are you doing there's no problem? >> if it's a red herring then you're saying the president bring all those families here is a red herring? >> answer the question drug about what you think should be done in the air is something should be done rather than -- >> but you are saying it's a red herring for me to bring a my kid, it's a red herring for the president to bring up the children who were shot. >> but that's not the issue in gun-control. >> i think it is because i'm someone who is presenting a face to the public. and the things i want to present is that it do care about those kids and i understand the grief they are going through, and that he do care about it. so i think politics isn't about only about facts. it is about what you are seeing being empathetic. i do want people to know that he do care about the sounds and i
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understand the greek. >> do you think there's anything the federal government ought to do that would create more safety by restricting access or by registering guns so that criminals and terrorists in various peoples can have access to them? >> the current background checks that we have found 15,000 people to be felons and they were kicked out of the system. would prosecuted 44 of them. so i am supporting senator cruises legislation to shift money around and increase the prosecution of those were fellows but i think it's simplistic to say oh, we stopped 15,000 felons from getting guns or maybe they went to another dealer that wasn't as precise or maybe they bought an illegal. if you didn't prosecute him, you didn't stop them from getting guns. you stop them from that place of getting again. what we ought to do is make the background checks that we have are working and if you favor that. at the bill brady a few of the
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things, but i do think that ultimately this is the way i look at and this is just my opinion, but i think it should but a lot of americans. the shootings at sandy hook, that young man who committed these atrocious murders, he was not deterred by the death penalty. he was not deterred by life imprisonment. he was not deterred by being killed because in come in the end he killed himself but most of these killers are exactly the same. they usually die in the end. they are not afraid to die. so i don't think if they are not afraid of the death penalty, for some other going to their gun registration. and the gun registry should would deter them. they seem to be choosing places that are gun free zones. and so another thing that i would do, more of this point involves local laws and federal law, but if i were in charge of that school district i would be lobbying to allow teachers to have concealed carry, to have a gun locked up in a desk drawer,
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you know, for the principal demands. ultimately, that's the only thing i know of that might've saved any lives in the situation. we have gun registration up there. the cities that we are the most significant gun control seem to have the most significant crime in our country. >> what's wrong with the concept of universal registration? >> i think one doesn't go to the problem if the problem is mass shootings by young men at gun free zones, registration doesn't deter these young men. registration works for law-abiding citizens. nearly if you look at crime, nearly 90% of crime is committed by guns that are bought illegally already. if you look at gun shows, i think in 2004 they did a survey of inmates and it was like one, 1.7% are committed with guns from gun shows. i think, let's, if the background checks were, why do we enforce what we've got. i think it would be a good step
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forward. i think a lot of things and in our done as window dressings. it's, it's, it's dog and pony show. it's a parade. it's theatrics. all the to show people that something bad happened, what you did, something terrible and tragic happen. i don't want to demean or in any way lessen that, but the response to it is hey, look at me, i did something, even though in the end, and there have been, i think, you know, richard cohen in the "washington post" is probably not considered to be a right wing zealot on the second amendment, but he wrote yesterday the background checks won't do anything. even making them universal. >> [inaudible] >> the conservative movement about abraham lincoln's legacy with on one of these issues youe talking the rule of law, due process, that sort of thing. he spoke a lot about abraham lincoln last week at howard. i'm just curious what your opinion of abraham lincoln, his
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legacy is? >> there's a great book on lincoln called forced into glory, and it's a good book and it's a great, there's a great passage in there. i think it's by a reconstruction republican. it's one of the leads in the chapter and he says that lincoln shouldn't be allowed to ride into glory on the borrowed plumage, you know, from somebody else's hat, from their glorious right. and i think there's some truth to the. i think lincoln turned out to be a great politician, but i think he wasn't god. he was a politician, and he came into his glory because of some people i think were even greater than he was, and the people i would consider to be greater than lincoln would be the abolitionists who pushed him, kicking and screaming towards emancipation. so no, in the end of lincoln i think was absolutely a great president. it was something, emancipation
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is nothing, is something to be very proud of for him and for the republican party. but really, i think our history books, when i grew up reading, all the description of abolitionists were zealous, nuts, crazy. is a lot more congregated than that, a lot of them, gerson father's battle for 30 some odd years, beaten up, mod, nearly killed. so i think that, i think the abolitionists deserve more credit than they are given. >> tom horne spent i just want to go back to howard. i'm sensitive to your concern that the whole thing was portrayed negatively. i don't mean to suggest that. i think the reception was in many points pretty good. but there was that moment where you seem to be assuming to know something about history. is that accurate that you made some assumptions that turned out to be wrong? and what else be dished i think that was misreported. i simply said something and it
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was something that i was asking a question. i asked do you know, and i didn't know the answer. this was my first time to go to a historical black college, so i asked, and people said you should know the answer. that's part of the reason for going there is i did know the answer but i said did they all know the naacp was founded by republicans? and in retrospect it sounds like it is a dumb question but it's like republicans haven't been going to howard for 20 years so maybe i did learn something that i did learn that everybody there is no and i left knowing that, that everybody there knows. but here's a good question for you and this is were i think it's unfair with the media tried to do to me on this, take a poll, here's a good example of april. when the iraq war started right after 9/11, they pulled americans and they said how many of you, or who do you think, in a, attacked us on 9/11? over 50% thought iraq attacked us on 9/11. it's still too. 50% of the public doesn't know.
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if you ask the american public, this includes a lot of white people who have had black history, but even some people in african-american community, you ask them to the republicans, with a primary part of voting rights and citizenship and naacp informed and in the jim crow? and did you know that most african-americans were republicans at one time? i was told that in no uncertain terms that but i think the vast majority of the public, i think you'd find a 90% of the public had no idea that republicans help to found the naacp or. so some people think it is presumptuous and i should be talking about it, well, we need to talk about it. then i messed up on the senator's name, edward brooke. it's like, i'm human. i forgot his day. i knew his name but i forgot. it wasn't like it was a part of my speech and i forgot. it was in my question and into. i forgot his name. but the point i was making that was from edward brooke was he
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was asking in his 90s about the rich history of the republican party in academic and and he was asked, you know, his response was, he said, well, if the democrats had this history you would hear about it nonstop and he said, the indication was it was a problem republicans didn't talk about it it is harder for me but i'm not have been american to go to howard and talk about it. it would be easier for an african-american maybe to go. it would seem less me preaching about the history. it's all of our history. there were whites involved, to in the abolition end with emancipation. i don't know, i'm a little sensitive to some of it in the sense that i think, i think the people who write on one side of it rights of the because they don't like republicans and to anything republican says, the left wing media i think has done that way without really i think looking at the facts. >> same with a southern strategy. i think they're completely wrong
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on the southern strategy. the southern strategy committed a change but the change happened before. that's just a fact. >> i will stand up if i can. i have two questions i think are related. the first one is on the immigration bill. i wonder if we could ask for your reaction, your response to what as an actual now been written. are you now willing to endorse a pathway to citizenship? i use that particular word for those who are -- the second which i think is related is, will this bill, with the immigration reform help america's drug problem? and would it help in the rand paul under that would decriminalize some of these drugs, if there is an immigration reform? >> the bill is pretty long and last i want to left to go home it still wasn't available, and the mission, does anybody know, is now online? so we are going to read it. that's the first thing we'll do. that will take a while to read
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alall of it. there are a lot of details in a. what i will delete in general is i have for immigration reform. i am for finding a place for those who are in our country, whether documented or undocumented, find a place for them if they want to work. it's not that i'm going to be for anything with no rules though. conservatives have always said they want to secure borders. they always complain about the 1986 bill and said, they promise of security and we never got the secured borders. so i will have at least one a minute but i will probably have three or four that want to be attached to the bill that i think will make it stronger. i think it's important everybody wants immigration reform to realize it has to go through the house. the house is very conservative and controlled by republicans who have been too excited about immigration reform. so in order to get it i think they need to at least engage with people like me who want immigration reform but ar our fm the conservative wing of the party. the minute i have is trust but
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verify. it says each year in order for the reform to go forward there has to be a report on border security. they should include the opinions of the governors, they should include the opinions of the border patrol on whether or not each section of fence or border has been secured. it should include statistics on how many are being returned to come in illegally, how may people are getting background checks, that kind of thing. and that report i think should be voted on by congress. i'm not a big fan of administrative reports. we are supposed to get a report on whether egypt is democratic in order for them to get their foreign aid and they just either give it are exempted you. i don't think there's enough really serious part on any a message. i would have said the vote by congress. but i am in general for immigration reform. as for the pathway to citizenship. i think the other thing is, i think it's important for
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conservatives to support the bill but it is no new pathway of citizenship. my opinion all along has been that if you are here and you're undocumented, we did a work visa, that we allow you than to get i in the same line of sewing kits and if they're in mexico city. so if you're in mexico city right now and you want to become an american citizen there is a line. if you're in undocumented alien here in this country and we did a work visa, you get the same like it might sting the bill will create a new line but give a certain amount of years to try to make it where you don't get in som some front of some of any unlike some of this is a rhetorical point but it's also important to a lot of people who don't want a new pathway. so i think if over the same pathway for some in mexico city i think would have a better chance of passing immigration reform. that immigration reform. that's something we'll look at. we also think when you go to vote, you're supposed to show up with her driver's license. i think when you show up with a
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driver's license no matter who you are you should be run through the work visa database to make sure you're not here on work visa. there could be millions of people here on work visas now and they shouldn't be immediately eligible to vote just because they have a driver's license. same with welfare. all of these have an exclusion for welfare, but if you're not allowed to ask or check with your illegally or not, there could will be people should signing up for welfare. so with all the rules yes, i'm in favor of it. we'll see how many of any of these things i can get attached to it but i think some of these things will be popular in the house. if you want to move forward i think hopefully they will address some of these things. >> the howard speech, -- [inaudible] -- you sort of glossed over the past 50 years ipost-1965. how would you characterize the two parties roles in civil rights in that time period and?
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>> you know, if you go to 1964 and you look at it, like, for example, i think you're to civil rights bills in the '50s that didn't pass and i think energy votes against both of them. and a majority of republican senators vote for both of them. same happens in 64. still vast majority of republicans vote for the civil rights act in 64. the southern strategy, i didn't mention but i didn't really kind of go there to sort of mentioned the things that don't make us look so good in the republican party. so that was one reason for not bringing up the southern strategy. and the comments why kevin phillips were unfavored and not something that will help us ever. probably did hurt us. i guess my point is they didn't cause a. you can follow up with that. was there something else you are asking? >> characterizes the history. >> i think some of it is there and some of it is unfair. people have told me they think
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that, you know, the willie brown ad was racist but people say that reagan talking about welfare queens was races. there may be some argument to some of those -- [inaudible] >> what is that? what did i say? i do make mistakes. i do make mistakes. but anyway, so that's what me. but i think yeah, i think there is some basis in argument of some of the tactics through the years. and so i think, and the other thing is whether it's fair or not there, there is a perception out there, the republican party, and they think this is what it is in general. there's a perception that republicans don't like people of color. they don't want black people, brown people or people a different color skin. it's not true, but that's the protections we have to overcome. the only way to overcome that is by showing up and saying over and over again that it is not true. and i wanted part of that to be talking about our rich history
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in civil rights. i think that's an uphill battle because i got a lot of grief for even for the audacity of mentioning it. but i think, in the interim i think i will keep trying and i'm sort of, i don't give up easily so i will keep trying. >> we have about 15 minutes left. will go to the back tables now. david. >> senator, you said you were skeptical of certain admissions reports and then grading their own homework so to speak. but, of course, th the bill that does it again if they'd put forward, that's how the immigration, that's a people get legalized. the department of homeland security has to submit to reports within six months. it sounds like you're somewhat skeptical. i would ask if you're interested, cyberpunk, of reaching out to the hispanic community of doing some of those things you were doing with the african-american community and with hispanics as well spent yes, i've been speaking to the spanish chamber of commerce not to undergo. that would be the beginning of what i consider to be the time
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to go and talk to, when i first ran, people said, that's mrs. smith over there. you need to ask mrs. smith for a vote. i thought it was kind of corny. i thought you just tell people what you represent and they would him and made the decision. you've got to ask mrs. smith for her vote. and i think symbolically that's true with republicans and different ethnic groups where we do not seem to be doing well. we need to show up and ask for the vote. that sounds corny, and a you know, i showed up howard and did i get a buddy to change their mind? i don't know. but i showed up at simmons two days later and one gentleman came up and said he wants to start facebook for rand paul, african-americans were rand paul. so you know, maybe that was only one person at a 50 but it's still a step forward. but i think that we try, on the reports come you know, i think over all border security is more important. you talked about what, whether the executive branch make some determinations on who gets
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visas. it will be administrative stuff that has to be part of executive branch so i'm not completely opposed to the. i'm saying border security has been what conservatives have complained about. it's what they are fearful of. i think it limits, there's some conservatives who will never vote for any immigration reform but there's another big block of conservatives that i think i'm a part of that will vote for immigration reform if they're assured and reassured that the border will be secure. so there's some vote you're not going to get but there's a huge amount. i don't think this is a great thing for the house if it takes 180 democrats and 40 republicans to pass, you, over in has to go if it passes with 50 democrats on our side and five republicans, you know. jenna, i'm looking for a way to make more of the republican party, over and embrace immigration reform. >> just to be specific, do you think that's a problem that they set up -- the very first portion of the senate bill is the administration basically said this is our plan.
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then people get legalized, whether it's within six month after the bill is enacted. do you think that is an impediment to conservatives getting on board speak with maybe. all the conservatives in the house, it's still a houseplant, to do a bunch of different bills. everybody will say you never get companies of reform if you don't want at a time and you take the most popular. i disagree. everything in washington is broken because every bill is too big and every deal tends to be today. so for example, like on tax reform, tomorrow i would lower the income tax. if we can compromise on the number i would lower it to 17% tomorrow. just do it. i don't care if people predicted less revenue, less revenue means more revenue in economy. if you in an enormous boost to ththe con and we like under kennedy, like under coolidge and like under reagan when you reduced rates, sometimes you get more revenue. that is because the deal is to be. same with immigration. we make it harder on ourselves are the debt commission, we make
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it a lot harder to find a deal when it has a thousand moving parts but i think we should go with the things we agree on and boom, boom, boom. it's why the rate -- that's why the public is so upset with us. all the stuff we agree on we won't pass because we say that will be the sweeter for the bigger deal. which we never seem to be able to get to one that break up all these big deals into smaller deals? i tried to pass the stand these a, science and technology these is expanding those. i tried to pass it by unanimous consent. than schumer came up and said no, but i will pass, how about passing mind by unanimous consent? i was quite. i would've let this go by unanimous consent. they would have been shocked. i think it would've been great fun to see that all of the week as part of immigration reform just by unanimous consent. >> jerry? >> i have a couple of them. i had ask you why you think so highly of our late mayor, grover cleveland? >> f. i was allowed to go back when i wasn't alive, he seemed
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to be opposed to special interests. he also seemed to veto a bunch of bills, and i think that, you know, it was a time period, and i think some would call him a populist and i think that part of me feels that way. >> alex and then bolton. >> it was reported you were raising money for the national association for gun rights and it was just reported that last week this came up for conversation in the steering committee luncheon. susan collins was pretty upset about that because national association of gun rights is running ads in her state. she is warning the party it could cost her her seat. are you willing to not do that in the future or are you going to change the course of action given what she said to you, given perhaps you could be jeopardizing her seat? >> when you say raising money for, i have signed a fund-raising letters but i do have a connection with the group it's illegal for me to have a direct connection with the group.
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if we're going to talk about what ads or not, also illegal for me to call them up and said quit running ads. i can make a decision i in the future whether i will continue to do it. i haven't come to conclusion or thought that through yet. but i guess i don't always agree with every tactic of every group out there. you know, that includes a lot of groups. there are three big gun groups, national association of gun rights, gun owners of america, and the nra. i don't agree with all of them all the time, but i want to be, i am on the side of wanting to protect the second amendment and believe it's just as import as the other parts of the bill of rights. so i don't know with regard to the. i have never worked against any republican in a primary and i don't anticipate working against a republican in the primary spent what sort of role do you see yourself having and the republican primaries? do you see yourself being involved in a race because we got involved in some primaries
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that were open primaries where there wasn't an incumbent. but at this time of you have any plans to oppose any incumbent republican. >> doyal? >> i will ask you return to the subject to filibuster which was a drones. what's next on your agenda on that issue? have you been in a democratic civil libertarians who will work with you? been one particular issue, as you know a lot of the drone war overseas being waged under an authorization for use of military force that was passed in haste what, 11, 12 years ago. are you working to re-examine that and have you gotten anything going? >> ron wyden is the one i worked most closely with on civil liberty issues, and the drone issue, and he was nice enough to come to the floor in support of the filibuster because he and i continue to work on a range of issues. we worked on the sofa legislation together. we are cosponsors of a federal waiver for him growing in the states, things like that.
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on issues of war. i do want to characterize his position but we worked together. i think he has been on those letters were sent to the president to speed up the resolution of the afghan war. and then the second -- >> i spent the authorization of force but i think of a chance to talk about it. it will be tricky see where we can do with. senator corker is target bring this up in the foreign relations committee but it is a significant problem.com and it's part of this thing is talk about what the drones. there are people in my party you think about a field is everywhere, the war has no limits, and that this use of authorization of force to go to war in afghanistan is for everywhere all the time without limits. i have a real problem with that, particularly when they say the battlefield is here because i do acknowledge that if you are engaged in a battlefield, for example, if you're in afghanistan and we are fighting soldiers over there, we're not going going to get the miranda rights. there is a due process in a battle. it becomes more of a question into eating dinner in the house
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and then it's an even bigger push into eating dinner in america, in a café or in your house. that was a huge question but it works all the way back. is a spectrum, and also can go to war in molly or libya under the use of authorization of force that was done for afghanistan? i'll tell you how hard this battle will be. i tried to remove the use of force authorization of force for iraq last year. the war is over that i couldn't even stop the war that is already done. the reason why think it's important to take the use of authorization force back, that's the people's power and congress' power. it's ultimately the people's power through congress, but that power was separated and as long as we have a dangling out there, we have given carte blanche to any president to commit war anytime anywhere. and then there's the debate of whether or not they can infringe upon civil liberties here at home through that force. so no, i don't think we can completely get rid of it. i think what they would do is rewrite. i would be, i am for ending the
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war in iraq and in war in afghanistan and i would resend both. then i would have debate over where you want to go again. really that's what the intent is that we are debate and discuss whether national security is about. whether vital interest are involved and mali is different but i think the country was almost universally united. let's go to afghanistan get those people, myself included i don't know the public is entirely united i'm going into syria, mali or libya. you know, i think, i keep saying why don't we ask of the million christians in syria what they want, you know? they were displaced from 250,000 of them were displaced from iraq because they didn't like the, the god in iraq after the war. what they like the new government and so you? i venture to say some of the christians may object. >> i promise to the senator up and moving by 9 i don't agree time for another question and answer so what you think you.
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my apologies to my colleagues who didn't have time for questions. we will have to have him back. thank you. appreciate it. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations] >> we are taking a look at pictures from a short while ago. the president and the first lady leaving the white house on their way to boston. president obama speaking at the holy cathedral, the holy cross cathedral i believe it is in the
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south boston cathedral of the holy cross, that's the name of the. we also understand that romney, former governor romney will be there in a memorial, interfaith memorial service for the victims in the boston marathon. our live coverage of the president's remarks beginning at 11 a.m. on c-span3. also today on c-span3 we have attorney general eric holder testifying in front of the senate foreign relations committee, talking about the president's 2014 budget. we will have that like for you today at 2:00 eastern. also on c-span3. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. and. on weeknights watched key public policy events. every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> and we go live now to the
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u.s. senate where we are continues work on a gun violence prevention the. yesterday the chamber voted on several proposals to the seven amendments to the legislation including one on background checks. all of those were defeated. today at noon eastern two more votes on amendments including one related to mental health issues. after those votes are done the chamber plans to recess for party lunches until 2:00 will lea eastern. we will take you live now to the floor of the u.s. senate onn: . c-span2. hear our voice, o god, and listen to our prayer. you know our inward thoughts even before we think them. as we place our trust in you, enable us to experience your joy. breathe upon our senators the fresh spirit of your love that
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old things will become new and the darkness will turn to dawn. amid the dangers and destruction our world, give us the miracle of your peace. make them good stewards of the gifts you have given us. and, lord, we ask you to comfort the victims and families affected by the explosions in west, texas. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america
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and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., april 18, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable brian schatz, a senator from the state of hawaii, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will resume consideration of the gun safety legislation, with the time until noon is equally divided and controlled for debate on the barrasso and harkin amendments. at noon there will be two votes in relation to those amendments. following the votes the senate will recess until 2:00 p.m. to allow for important caucus meetings. at 2:00 p.m. the senate will proceed to the executive session
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to consider the torres and watson nominations. at 2:15 there will be a roll call vote on the confirmation of the torres confirmation and expected voice vote on the confirmation of watson. mr. president, a new tragedy during the night, and our thoughts are with the people of west, texas. that's the name of a city in texas. our thoughts are with all of texas in the wake of a terrible explosion of a fertilizer in the factory of a town of west, why you have just outside waco. five to 15 deaths, a couple
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hundred who are wounded. they were working, they were sleeping, they were having dinner. i offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones and who have people who are wounded and injured. we'll continue to follow the news from texas as it develops today. and i'm going to do everything i can with my colleagues to ensure that this terrible tragedy has the resources of the federal government available to help the people of that city as they recover from this tragedy. mr. president, this nation has simply dealt with too much, too much loss during the last few months. once again i offer my condolences to the families who joined us here yesterday to honor the loved ones that they lost to gun violence and lobby for stronger background checks.
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the mothers and fathers of these murdered children out of newtown were there. family and friends of those who were injured and killed in aurora, colorado, were there. we had people here from the tragedy, 32, 33, 33 people killed in blacksburg, virginia. virginia tech. they were here yesterday. we knew the effort to keep america's streets safe from gun violence wouldn't be easy. i commend senator manchin and others for setting aside partisanship to negotiate this compromise. unfortunately, even though we got a strong, strong majority vote -- well over 50. 5 senators voted in favor -- 55 senators voted in favor of
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this. frank lautenberg came here. he hasn't been here for awhile. he's been ill. he came here. he voted. we voted with a strong, strong majority to change things here in america so that people who have serious mental illness would have to have a background check before they can buy a gun or that criminals would have to have a background check before they can buy a gun. even people who are selling the guns think there should be some background check. the man that sold the gun to the man who walked into the courthouse in las vegas and blasted away, that man that sold that gun said he sold guns to lots of people that were bad people, but he did it legally. he thinks the law should be changed. so the vast majority of the
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senate agree that should be the case. but, we couldn't get to 60, the magic number here in the senate. yesterday the families of gun violence watched as republicans defeated a commonsense proposal to expand background checks that has the support of 90% of americans. but make no mistake, the debate is not over, mr. president. this is not the end of the fight. republicans are in an unsaddam-n unsustainable position. an event we did outside this back door yesterday, senator schumer said -- and i think he summed it up about as well as you could -- when he said in america today at about the same place america was a few years ago, dealing with immigration, gay marriage and things related
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to gender disparity. that's the wrong word. gender equality. now, mr. president, i believe that senator schumer is right. this is the beginning, and it has to happen. any time in america on those rare occasions when 90% of the american people agree something should be done, it should be done. and it will be done. it's only a question of time. the brand of the republicans is further tarnished by going against what 90% of the american people want. democrats will continue to stand with the families of newtown, from aurora, from tucson, carson
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city. and i assure the 90% of americans who support meaningful background check legislation that i personally will continue this fight. now, mr. president, on another subject, the senate suffered a notable and stunning defeat of bipartisanship this week during the debate over background checks. but, mr. president, they said a week ago we would never get on the bill. the senate joined together, and we got on the bill. and then yesterday, as i've indicated earlier, we got a significant majority of the united states senate voting to move forward on this background check. 90% of the democrats, which is in keeping with the american people, and four valiant republicans joined to put us where we are today. but the week didn't bring only bad news from the legislative front. a bipartisan group of eight of my senate colleagues -- would
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never have happened a few years ago but it is going to happen now. as i indicated, quoting senator schumer, background checks is about where immigration was just a few years ago. and a bipartisan group of eight of my senate colleagues -- four democrats and four republicans from all different political persuasions -- introduced a comprehensive plan to reform a broken immigration system. senators schumer, mccain, durbin, menendez, graham, bennett, rubio and flake have worked very, very hard on this legislation. and, mr. president, all one needs to do is look at the legislative pedigree of these eight senators. they are all over the book: liberal, conservative, moderate. and that's the way it should be. i commend each of them for setting partisanship aside, both democrats and republicans
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setting partisanship aside on an issue that's critical to our great nation. you know, the four democrats didn't get everything i wanted in that legislation that they now have before the american people. they didn't give me, they didn't give democrats everything that they wanted in these negotiations. but, mr. president, as i've said on this floor numerous times, that's what legislation is. it's the art of compromise. it's not the art of getting everything you want. i've been in this body a long time. i've been very fortunate to put my name on things that passed here. i helped guide things through this senate in the last many years. and i have on occasion to swallow hard and say we're going to have to compromise here to get this done. that's what we need to do.
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people have been in a situation where they have been unwilling to compromise. and things have happened in the great history of this body have come by compromise. i have never ever gotten everything i wanted. republicans in these negotiations dealing with immigration, i guarantee you, they didn't get everything they wanted, just as the democrats didn't. but i am satisfied with this legislation. it continues to secure our borders. the northern and southern borders. it improves our dysfunctional legal immigration system. our immigration system is broken and has been for quite some time, and needs to be fixed. and another thing that's important, it requires 11 million people who are undocumented to pass a criminal background check, pay fines, start on a path of citizenship, and -- yes -- learn english.
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it doesn't put them to the head of the line. it puts them to the back of the line. it will take them 12 or 13 years to finally get up there, but at least the program is moving forward. i look forward to hearings on this measure that will be led by senator leahy. mr. president, i want to take a minute and commend chairman leahy. he's the most senior member of the united states senate. he's the president pro tempore of the senate. but he also has an important responsibility as chairman of the judiciary committee. the reason we were able to get the legislation on the floor that we've been working on this past few weeks is because of leahy. because he had his committee -- even though -- as i've just indicated, senator leahy didn't agree with everything that came out of his committee of his. he comes from the state of vermont, much different from people on that committee.
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but he brought it forward, and everything we voted on, as the base bill, came out of that committee. and it's the same that's going to happen on immigration. senators -- these eight, a significant number of them want to do hearings, want to have a markup. other senators said let's just move it to the floor. well, there are a number of senators who believe it should come out of committee first. so that's what's going to happen. i commend senator leahy for agreeing to do this. he's going to have a hearing tomorrow and another one on monday. he has set up an estimated time for the markup. so i commend him for his leadership with judiciary. i repeat, i look forward to hearings on this measure before the committee, and to a thoughtful debate on the senate floor. we're going to have ample time to discuss this and consider this legislation.
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and i'm going to do what i can to get this bill across the finish line, which i think we're going to do. i think we're going to do it pretty soon. now, mr. presi mr. president, we deal with a lot of controversial things. that's the way it's always been here. and we deal with controversial issues that illicit passionate responses. the immigration proposal, the antiviolence legislation that i talked about earlier. we try to deal with these issues thoughtfully and with respect. those who serve and work in the senate do so out of a sense of patriotism and a love of count country. mr. president, i disagree with a number of my republican senato senators. jeff sessions, i don't think he and i have ever voted on anything the same way. but i have tremendous respect for him as a person. he does what he believes is right. his colleague from alabama, richard shelby, one of my dear
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friends, he and i don't vote much alike. but our relationship is one of respect and admiration for one another. that's what we have to do in this body. so, mr. president, i never question the patriotism or love of country of any senator, because if i did, i would be wrong. so it was deeply disturbing that an anonymous individual would attempt to send deadly poison to senate offices as well as the white house. it appears through the swift action of the capitol police and federal law enforcement officials, the suspect has been apprehended and these cowardly anonymous attacks i hope will be brought to justice very soon. this incident does not appear to be related in any way to the tragedy in boston. nevertheless, tras it is a remir to the senate community and
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visitors to remain vigilant at all times. senate offices should continue to follow mail policies that are in place for their safety in this investigation. the system in place protects the senate community. maybe people say, well, it is not good enough. it is good. i remember when we had anthrax sent to senator daschle and senator leahy in previously years. so the system in place to help the senate community has worked. that's good. these suspicious letters were found and intercepted before they reached the capitol. so i applaud the postal employees and law enforcement officials who detected and neutralized this threat. i commend the senate sergeant-at-arms, chief gainer,and the capitol police for their diligent work. i rest easier knowing that the safety of anyone who works and visits the capitol, safety is
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our first priority. i apologize to my republican friend for talking longer than i usually do. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i'd like to just say a brief word about last night's tragedy near waco. from the media reports we've seen, there have clearly been a great many injuries and a terrible loss of life. we're all thinking of and praying for the victims and their families. given the horrendous event at the boston marathon on monday, followed by the event near waco last night, it's been a very difficult week for all of us. our hearts are a little bit heavier. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration
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of s. 64, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 32, s. 649, a bill to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 12:00 noon will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. cornyn: i'd ask that the quorum call be rescinded.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, it is perhaps an understatement to say it posts -- it's been a difficult week for our country. as americans hold the city of boston in their thoughts and prayers, i have come to the floor to ask for another prayer for the small town of west, texas, in mcclennon, close to waco, texas. i got off the phone talking to the county judge and he described to me the events of last night and the efforts to recover from that tragedy. apparently a fire started in an ammonia facility that then caught tanks of ammonia on fire and it literally exploded. it started with a fire and for those who aren't aware of the
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use of that ammonia, it is used in the cultivation of crops. as you can imagine, springtime when planting is starting, there is a lot of use for this source of essentially fertilizer. as i said, the fire started at a fertilizer company about, apparently it is about 7:30 last night when the volunteer fire deputy first responders were called. the problem was they showed up for a fire, but ultimately it ended up being a victim of explosions that ensued a short time thereafter when tanks of this anhydrous ammonia exploded. they don't yet know the number of fatalities. i saw in press reports to be between 5 and 15. judge felton tells me he fears it could be on the higher side of that number or even higher. they just don't know. and they're continuing to try to
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find the victims and help those who need help if they're still alive. but we do know that more than 100 people were wounded and an unknown number have lost their lives, as i said. but we do know that among the dead are a number of firefighters, volunteer firefighters and other first responders. as typical and as we actually saw in boston, during a time of crisis, tight-knit communities like west and cities like boston, you see some acts of real heroism that are encouraging at a time when we could use a little encouragement. we're seeing the resilience of a tight-knit, self-sufficient community in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. businesses have reportedly stayed open throughout the night
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and neighbors have opened their doors to help support the victims. as is so obviou often the case, ordinary citizens ran toward danger as they offered assistance. one resident loaded up his car with people and made three successive trips to the hospital. this morning as i was waking up and watchin watching the newarke gentleman say he made multiple trips into the nursing home to bring them to to safety. as one police officer at the scene said, "the people of west will not let a person stand out in the rain." we of course grieve for those who have loved their lives, and we pray for those who were injured and still missing. so i ask that all americans keep the people of west, texas, in their thoughts and prayers.
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mr. president, on another note -- and i say this more with sadness than anger -- i watched the president of the united states say it was a pretty shameful day for washington on the national news. that was yesterday. and i agree but for different reasons than the president himself articulated. when good and honest people have honest differences of opinion about what policies our country should pursue when it comes to the second amendment and gun rights and mass gun violence, the president of the united states should not accuse them of having no coheren coherent argur caving to the pressure. the president could have tang --
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could have taken the high road, could have said, now that we have been successful this these measures, let's moveo move on ts where there is agreement, like mental health issues. instead, he took the low road. around thand i agree with him, a truly shameful day. i and many of my colleagues are not worried, as some of the press like to portray it, about the gun lobby who would spend a lot of money and paint us as anti-second amendment. i don't work for them. i work for texans. the views i represent on the floor of the united states senate are their views. if i don't represent their view, then i am accountable to them and no one else. and, no, those of us who did not agree with the president's proposals are not being intimidated, as he said
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yesterday. and it's false -- it's absolutely false to say it comes down to politics, actio as he s. for me, it comes down to a meetings i had with the families who lost loved ones at sandy hook elementary school. i told them that i was not interested in symbolism, in things we might be able to do that would have had no impact on the terrible tragedy that day or at tucson or virginia tech or at aurora, colorado. i'm not interested in passing legislation that would have had no impact on those incidents and then patting ourselves on the back and congratulating ourselves saying, haven't we done a wonderful thing? when in fact it would be to celebrate symbolism over solutions. i'm interested in trying to come up with a solution. i told them that day, the family
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members who came to visit with me, as we grieved with them for their terrible loss, i told them that, as i understood what they were telling me, they weren't coming to sell a particular political point of view or an agenda or a legislative laundry list of things they wanted to see passed. it really boiled down to this: these families who lost both children and parents and spouses want to make sure that their loved one did not die in vain. they want to make sure that something good comes out of this terrible tragedy. and why wouldn't we want to work together to try to help them achieve their goals? the president indicated
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yesterday that the legislation he actually was pursuing, the so-called assault weapons ban, the background check bill and others, he said none of that legislation would have solved the problem that these families were experiencing. and i happen to agree with that part of what he said. but instead of calling the president names and taking the low road, like he did yesterday, and chastising my fellow senators for their good-faith disagreement and the best policies to pursue in order to make sure these families' losses were not in vain, i'm here to ask for his help. i'm here to ask for every members' help, to try to make sure we actually trine t contino look for measures that we might actually get behind to make things better, that would have offered up a solution to some of
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these problems. i've heard senator feinstein, who so eloquently spoke in favor of her proposed assault weapons ban, she acceded that adam lanza would not have been stopped by an assault weapons ban, because he stole weapons that his mother legally possessed, and he murdered his own mother before he then went to sandy hook elementary school and murdered innocent children and other adults. so the background check bill would not have had any impact on that, and as senator feinstein conceded, as she must, neither would the a assault weapons ban that we voted on yesterday. but what might have an impact on incidents like occurred at virginia tech? what might have had an impact on incidents that occurred in tucson, where congresswoman
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gabby giffords was shot and others killed? well, we know that the background check system, the national instant criminal check system, the nics system that the f.b.i. maintains, depends on the states sending information to the f.b.i. that they could use to screen out gun buyers. as a matter of fact, the shooter at the virginia tech had been adjudicated mentally ill by the state of virginia, but that information was never forwarded to the f.b.i. to be used on a background check. so he could therefore purchase weapons without a hit occurring on the nics background check system. after 2008, we passed legislation encourage the states, trying to incentivize them to send the information to the f.b.i. so that wouldn't happen again. and we know from the general
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accountability of course, the g.a.o., that the report of compliance with that law is dismal indeed. many states just simply haven't done it. i believe there are things we can do to further incentivize the states to send that information so that the background check system maintained by the f.b.i. actually works to preclude shooters like the virginia tech shooter from legally buying weapons because there would be a hit on the background check system, and he would be stopped from that source of these weapons. and we know in tucson, for example, the shooter there failed a drug test when he tried to volunteer for the military. that is also a disqualifying incident that if, had it been reported to the background check system, as it could have and should have been, would have prevented him from purchasing weapons legally, without being blocked by a hit on the
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background check system. why in the world wouldn't we look for ways to improve the current background check regime to stop people like that from buying weapons and committing these mass atrocities? so i believe that there is actually a way forward for us, and i hope that senator reid, the majority leader, who controls the agenda on the senate floor, will not choose to quit in our effort to try to find solutions, indeed something we need to pursue, instead of just symbolic gestures, i would would have had no impact on these mass gun tragedies. so we don't know what the majority leader is going to choose to do. he may choose to get off of the gun bill and to get on to other business, and it is his prerogative to file the appropriate paperwork to ask the snoot to do that but it is -- the senate to do that but it is
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our prerogative to say, no, we believe we ought to stay on this topic until we pass commonsense solutions that would actually have a difference in terms of these mass tragedies. and so these families could say, no, my loved one, amidst all of this terrible tragedy, among this terrible grief and heartache that they're experiencing that we can all just barely imagine, that they can say something good came out of their loss. because congress moved forward, putting politics aside, setting the talking points aside, and looked for some kind of common ground that would advance the cause of public safety and hopefully, just hopefully, prevent some of these tragedies from occurring again in the future. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a earl quo. the presidin-- the absence of a. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: and i would ask consent to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, today i rise to discuss h. res. 85. i am pleased the senate has unanimously declared april as national congenital diaphragmmatic hernia month. i would like to thank senator ben cardin from maryland for joining me in the resolution. this resolution is very important to me and my family, as my grandson jimbo is a c.d.h. survivor, which occurs when the
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fetal diaphragm fails to fully develop. the lungs develop at the same time as the diaphragm and the digestive system. when a diaphragmmatic hernia occur, the abdominal o or organe into the stomach. it is a life-threatening condition. when lungs do not develop properly during pregnancy, it can be difficult for a baby to breathe after birth. c.d.h. will normally be diagnosed by prenatal trawl sound as early as the 16th week of pregnancy. if undiagnosed before birth the baby may be born in a facility not ownot equipped to treat its compromised system. all babies born with c.d.h. will need to be carried for in a neonatal inttentive care unit. babies born with c.d.h. will
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have difficulty breathing as their lungs are often small and biologically immature. the babies are intubated as soon as they are born. parents are unable to hold their babies for months or weeks at a time. most diaphragmmatic hernias are repaired with surgery one to five days after birth, usually with a gore-tex pax the abdominal organs are put back where they are a supposed to be and the hole in the diaphragm is closed. hospitalization often ranges from 3 to 10 weeks following the, depending on the severity of the condition. awareness, good prenatal care, early diagnosis and skilled treatment are the keys to greater survival rates. survival rates are improving. that is why this resolution is important.
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congenital diaphragmmatic honoria is a birth defect that occurs in one out of every 2k,500 births. every ten minutes a baby is born with c.d.h. and up to 600,000 more babies with c.d.h. since 2000. c.d.h. is a severe sometimes fatal defect that occurs as often as cystic fibrosis and spina bifida, yet most people have never heard of c.d.h., and the cause of c.d.h. is unknown at this time. in 2009 my grandson, jimbo was diagnosed with c.d.h. during my daughter mary abigail's 34th week of pregnancy. although she had both a 20-week and 30-week ultra sound, the nurses and doctors did not catch the disease on the baby's
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heartbeat monitor. thankfully when she and her husband, paul, and daughter jane richie moved to southeast georgia, the baby's irregular heartbeat was heard at her first appointment with her new o.b. she was sent to nearby jacksonville for a fetal echo. the technician there told her that she, she wasn't going to do the eco because there was something else wrong with the baby. she asked my daughter if she had ever heard of congenital diaphragmatic hernia. of course she had not. and at that time my family did not know the extent of the baby's birth defect. my daughter and her family moved to gainesville, florida, on november 16, and jimbo was born two weeks later on november 30. they heard their son cry out twice after he was born right
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before they incubated him, but they were not allowed to hold him. the doctors let his little lungs get strong before they did the surgery to correct the hernia, and that was done when he was four days old. the hole in his diaphragm was very large, and he had almost no posterior diaphragm. his intestines, spleen and one kidney were up in his chest. jimbo thankfully did not have to go on a heart-lung bypass machine as sometimes is the case, but he was on a ventilator for 12 days and on oxygen for 36 days. in total, he was in the nicu for 43 days before he was able to go home. fortunately for my family and thousands of similar families across the united states, a number of excellent physicians are doing incredible work to combat c.d.h. c.d.h. survival rate at chans
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children's hospital, gainesville, florida is unprecedented. the survival rate for c.d.h. babies born at chans is 90%. the doctor uses gentle ventilation therapy as opposed to hyperventilation. gentle ventilation therapy is less aggressive and protects the undeveloped lungs. my family was lucky that jimbo's defect was caught before he was born and that they were in the right place to seek excellent care for his condition. the resolution senator cardin and i introduced is important because it will bring awareness to this birth defect and this awareness will save lives. although hundreds of thousands of babies have been diagnosed with this birth defect, the causes are unknown and more research is needed. every year more is learned, and
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there will be more successes. i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this legislation to bring awareness to c.d.h., and i note there will be a march for c.d.h. tomorrow that will conclude at the capitol. i believe there is a growing sense of movement among many americans to call attention to this disease and seek to improve its treatment and to identify its causes. i thank the chair and would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: i ask that i be allowed to revise and extend my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: i thank the chair and would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. blumenthal: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: mr. president, i'm here today with sadness and anger after one of the saddest and most troubling days in my career in public service.
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yesterday the united states senate turned its back on the families of newtown, some of them sitting in this very gallery along with victims of other shootings. the first words i heard when vice president biden banged the gavel to end the vote on the background check bill yesterday were "shame on you." "shame on you" were the words of a rightfully angry mother of a virginia tech student who was shot in the head twice six years ago this week. this heartbroken mother had the courage and the fortitude to say the words that all of us who have been fighting for commonsense laws to reduce gun control felt at that moment. shame on us.
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shame on the united states senate. it was, in fact, a shameful day for this nation and for our democracy. and the hardest part of that day was to explain to the loved ones who lost children, spouses, family members newtown that day how 90% of the american people -- the majority of gun owners and even n.r.a. members -- and 55 members of the senate could favor a proposal that failed to become law. how could that be in a democracy? part of the answer relates to the filibuster which is a now proven despicable antidemocratic
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feature of this body. i have voted several times to, in effect, eliminate it. and yesterday's vote was a nail in the coffin of the filibuster. because the american people simply will not stand for a result that so typifies an antidemocratic result but even more an antidemocratic process. the filibuster fight is for another day. the fight today is to continue this effort against gun violence, and i will pledge to every member of this body, every person in connecticut and anyone who is engaged in this fight that i will continue with redoubled determination. when i tried to explain to one
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of the family members yesterday how this process could be so broken and reach such an intolerable result, i said, we're not done. and she said to me, we're not even close to done. so resolute and resilient are these families that they should inspire us and uplift us in their determination to continue this work for the sake of the loved ones they lost and to keep faith with the 3,400 innocent people who have perished as a result of gun violence since november 14 and the thousands who pair rished befor pair rish. it is not just our job in the senate, one of the greatest
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historic bodies in the world, but our obligation as public officials and as members of a body that hold a trust for democracy and for safety to provide better security for our people and our children. the mother of that virginia tech student was sitting in the same gallery with those members of newtown, connecticut, who lost 20 precious, beautiful children and six brave, great educators. they were keeping vigil as the senate turned its back on them. and despite their profound and harrowing loss, those parents, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers have kept faith. they have spent the last four months tirelessly and relentlessly advocating for changes and reforms in our gun laws so that that loss they suffered will not have been in
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vain. and still, the united states senate failed in its responsibility in turning its back on them. i don't want to relive december 14 when i went to sandy hook and heard and saw the grief and pain of those parents and loved ones as they emerged from the firehouse. on that unspeakable and unimaginable horror, i don't want to see again. yesterday was demoralizing and discouraging but not defeating, because ultimately this reform will be delayed but not denied. because of the massacre of 20 innocent children and their teachers will bring us
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ultimately to our senses, but so will the violence and carnage and killing since then. in the words of mark barden, whose son daniel is in this picture, "we are not defeated. we are here now. we will always be here because we have no other choice. the connecticut effect is not going away. the bardens are not going away, nor are any of the newtown families. the advocates of sensible, commonsense gun reform are not going away. we are here to stay." for mark and jackie barden and all of the other families from newtown and every other victim of gun violence in this country, there is no going back, there is no turning back the page. we must simply move on to the next issue as the bicycle team who came from newtown to
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washington, team 26, said we must go on pedaling. the only way to keep a bicycle upright is to move forward. that is the simple lesson of life that the families of newtown learned in their horrific tragedy, and i will continue to stand with them and all of the other victims of gun violence to work and fight another day. and i say to every one of my colleagues, my friends who sided with the proponents of fear, do not underestimate the power of the newtown families and the other victims of gun violence. they are not going away, and they will help to hold accountable and answerable to the people of america the actions that were taken here, the votes that were cast.
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votes have consequences just as elections do, and the people of america will remember our job now is to raise awareness, spread the rage that we feel, raise the rage and organize and enable and empower citizens to be heard and heeded by this body, whether in the next election or before then, and my hope is that it will be before then because we must act before the next election, and that action is an opportunity, a historic moment that we must seize. not everyone in this body turned its back on the victims of newtown or on this cause yesterday, and there were genuine profiles in courage on this floor in this body. first and foremost, senator manchin who led the fight on background checks and forged a compromise that should have won
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the day. and republicans who chose to buck their own leadership and follow their hearts and consciences, senators mccain, collins, kirk and toomey. the american people will thank you. and there are democrats who took some tough votes. tough votes particularly for their states. and i want to thank senators hagan, casey, landrieu, heinrich , mark and tom udall, jon tester and senator shaheen. these senators put saving lives above the politics of the moment, and they showed true leadership in the face of lies and fearmongering, and they deserve our thanks and praise. and i want to pay tribute to the
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senators who have led this effort over many, many years, senators feinstein, lautenberg, schumer and durbin. i want to thank my colleague chris murphy for his leadership and his courage. senators feinstein, lautenberg, schumer and durbin have been a tireless foursome on behalf of this fight. they have been dogged and determined, and no amount of n.r.a. deception or dishonesty has deterred them or stopped them, and i want to thank the majority leader, harry reid, for his courage. he has persevered in seeking a path forward on this legislation
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in the face of some of the most difficult political and procedural obstacles, and he has been as passionate and persevering in this cause as any one of the advocates in these last weeks. if you want to know the definition of resilient, look up frank lautenberg in the dictionary because there he was right here yesterday, after weeks of debilitating illness, with his wife bonnie in the gallery. she cheered him on, and so did we. nothing was going to keep him from voting on the gun control bills he has championed for a lifetime. so in moving forward, let us
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take heart and inspiration from the families of newtown who have been resolute and resilient at every turn from the continued strength of the advocates, from the courage of our colleagues who stood strong yesterday, and from the american people i have said along with others that at the end of the day the american people would be the ones to make a difference. their rage and disbelief is palpable and they will be there for daniel barden. he is only one among thousands. you have seen their pictures. they have been on display on this floor. their names have been recited, and their memories revived. yesterday, the united states
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senate said no to america, but the people of america will not take no for an answer. as martin luther king said, the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice, and we are on the right side of history which will eventually vindicate this cause, and i look forward to being here, if not within days, at least in the very near future when we take another vote and we stand 60 or more strong to make sure that daniel barden's memory is not in vain and that his brave parents are also vindicated in their trust in us. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: i have ten unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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